MESSAGE BOARD / Dec. 5, 2002
In recent weeks, a contrite Cardinal Bernard Law has made emotional apologies for his handling of abusive priests and met with members of a lay Catholic group he had previously shunned. But archdiocesan personnel files released this week have exposed glaring new instances of church negligence and provided more evidence that Law knew of abuse allegations against priests who were allowed to remain on active church duty for years. Facing an estimated 450 abuse claims, the archdiocese may declare bankruptcy. In light of this week's revelations, what are your feelings on the church crisis? Has Law lost the moral authority to lead the archdiocese? Where must Boston Catholics look for leadership? And what should be done to address the church's financial crisis?
Law should notbe allowed to resign and fade away, he should be led away in handcuffs along with all the other pedophile's and rapist's whom have been able to run unchecked for who knows how long. I am disguted to be a Catholic.
And I thought Bill Clinton was the most arrogant person in the United States! Law has him beat a 100 fold. I am ouraged, humiliated, sad, and so distressed by all this. I am afraid to open the newspaper in the morning for fear of what I will learn next. So far, our Parish has done nothing to help their parishioners deal with this scandal. I'm praying that someday some group will form who will address this problem
Marie , Massapequa Pk,NY
To G in Boston. What do you propose be done in insure that this never happens again? In 1993 there was a horrific round of scandals of priests abusing children. Declarations were made and the story was then moved on. What happened? MORE abuse more scandals. No one taking responsibility and children once again being abused, women being beaten and the administration covering it up. Do you want to keep pushing it aside until you or yours is hurt/abused? No change will occurr until people see the depths of the problem. We are now seeing those depths. If you don't like the story don't shoot the messenger.
I think that the Archbishop should be prosecuted. I cannot for the life of me understand why he is not in jail. My grandchilldren go to Parochial School. This year my granddaughter started at a local Catholic High School. Because her mother also attended this High School the children are given a $500 allotment to help pay for their books. When this money was not given to the students this year, the question was asked why???? The answer was as follows, " HAVE YOU PEOPLE BEEN READING THE NEWSPAPERS, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IN THE ARCHDIOCESE?? I was not present when this answer was given or I would have truly spoken my mind. This ripple effect will play a great part on the school system and the students. Because of the criminals of the Church and the money games they are playing to bail themselves out of trouble it will affect the innocents of the Church, students,teachers and all the organizations the money helps. Now we must pay for the rapists of our society. They not only raped the children of years ago but they are still raping the families and childresn of today. Why should we have to pay for their life styles and criminal actions. May they all rot in hell for what they have done.
janine , Malden, Ma
the heinous acts that are allowed, excused and hidden under the veil of religion are truly mind blowing. while law is most certainly disgusting and reprehensible the problems that the catholic church and so many other faiths face today are far greater than this man.
If this never went public would he be sorry?
This is as bad as that stupid Cianci guy going to jail and being "close" to his daughters - give me a break, everybody gets special treatment except me and you
The Cardinal should step down. His action putting the molesters back into circulation is the reason. In addition wanting to file chapter 11 is totally off base. I feel he is a little too cute in his actions to lead us. My pocket is closed as long as he is in charge. Anyone else would be hung for his actions.
Bert, Lynnfield MA.
It is my personal view that the priesthood has lost the identity of the Gospel values of our Lord. The faithful servants of the laity have realized the insensitive attitude of Bishops and priests for quite some time. I think if a Bishop has to live in a mansion in order to have his identity displayed, it is a sign of Idolitry by the clerics. The priests and the bishops are the servants of the church, no more and no less. The damage to the Body of Christ is not unlike the Pharises in ancient times when it was more important to have the Law than it was to understand the need to respect the human dignity of a sick person on the Sabbath. How much common sense does it take to figure that out? The people of the Church today understand that priest are people and that they too can commit acts that are against the human dignity of others, however as a priest or a bishop they have the moral obligation to do what is right in both the eyes of Civil authority and of God's authority. My view is that if I were committing acts of abuse, my own personal conscience would create in my the need to do all that is necessary to step down from any position that endangered the senses of the position. Priest and Bishops have not merely demoralized the victims, they have done destruction to all us. They need to seek forgiveness from the whole Church and quit trying to divert attention to other issues. I am most disappointed in the lack of their ability to GET IT! They are like businessmen who want to avoid a lawsuit and cannot understand that they are dealing with a Higher Authority than the local judge and a few lawyers. Most priests and most bishops do not have a sense of relationship with people and this leads me to believe they then do not have relationships with God but rather a relationship with their own ego. They create their own God, their own reasoning and try to plaster that onto a naive people who have a misconception that Priests and Bishops are greater than our Lord. Only our Lord is the truth and only the Gospel is our understanding of dignity in humanity. No one has the right to use their authority to undermine the true Author of Life. The politics of the Church means nothing to me... as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. My soul is at stake and I am certain the Church will not be my Judge although it would like to think that it is.
Virginia , Laramie Wy
Go rent "American Beauty". Then, try to find "Election." Then rent Woody Allen's "Manhattan." Ephebophilia, "love of adolescents," is prevalent in our society and presented rather descriptively if not prescriptively by Hollywood (i.e., "it's okay!"). How many movies starring sexy, attractive high school girls have come and gone in the last few years? What is Britney Spears selling, that "Slave for Love" with pigtails...? But no one talks about that. I'm hardly trying to normalize the horrendous activity of priests, but the real issue is abuse of power and a society that secretly tolerates this perversion "in the neighbor's shed" or "in the bar in the basement" or at the doctor's office, or with a teacher... Yes, there's a real, tangible case before us in Boston, but we've got an uglier problem on our hands. Scarlet letters, lawsuits, news series, and placards seem to be much easier with a well-defined target.
A., W. Roxbury